While Solo has been getting some lukewarm reviews from critics (sitting at a 71% on RT, twenty points lower than The Last Jedi's 91%) the movie is tracking for a huge Memorial Day weekend. While the films behind the scenes definitely lead to this mish-mash of differing directorial directions, the audience score sits at a current A-. For those that need a refresher, Solo: A Star Wars Story famously saw the former Lego Movie directing duoe, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, fired before Ron Howard stepped in. Recently, Donald Glover who stars as Lando in the Solo film, opened up about the firing and the "creative differences" between the former duo and Kathleen Kennedy. To no one's surprise, Lord and Miller's comedic approach clashed with the film and you can still see what scenes of their made it to the final cut as opposed to the much more serious take form Ron Howard. Regardless, the movie was a mixed bag but featured one amazingly surprising cameo that has managed to shock movie goers this holiday weekend. During a hologram conversation with Qi'ra, it is revealed that she is now working for none other than Darth Maul himself, the fan favorite character who was split in half at the waist in the Phantom Menace by Obi-Wan Kenobi. The reveal was a real shocker but not so much so if you look at some of the non-film cannon, especially the Clone Wars, in which the villain is featured quite prominently with a new pair of android legs. It also appears that his signature double sided red saber borrowed a feature from the Clone Wars as well (you can read more about that here). This could be a great move for the films, which have already rumored a three picture deal for the Solo story or the possibility to see a Obi-Wan stand alone film. Hopefully we will get a serious light-saber wielding villain back on screen. Make sure to check out Solo: A Star Wars Story, in theaters everywhere.
After an extremely long wait and a highly controversial behind the scenes drama, it looks like we finally got to see the first teaser for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars story at tonight's super bowl. Take a look at the younger version of some iconic characters as well as a few easter eggs and get excited for this film to debut May 25th. (The full trailer is set to drop tomorrow).
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the only thing people are talking about this weekend but it's having an unusual effect on viewers. While the film was projected to make over 440 million this weekend and it looks like it will actually achieve that by the end of the box office totals for today, the movie has an unusually low audience score. According to aggregate website, Rottentomatoes, the latest Star Wars film has a low 56% audience score. This is surprising considering the loyal fanbase associated with the series and put its far lower than anyone would have guessed but I have a few reasons as to why. (Full on SPOILERS ahead, read at your own risk)
- Disney chose to switch directors from JJ Abrams to Rian Johnson, and there is more than just tonal changes. It seems as if a lot of fans did not enjoy the amount of jokes in this film, likening it more to a Marvel film than a traditional film. It was also full of unexpected twist and turns that don't necessarily feel like it was of the Force Awakens. Also, a long portion of the film follows an old sea warfare trope, with a stranded ship waiting it's impending doom and having a sacrificial hero. The middle leg of the film drags on pretty substantially and it doesn't really recover until the last half hour of the film. There is also the interjection of the casino scene, which has seemed to be a source of criticism among fans for feeling like a waist of exposition. Granted, it was more fun than it was important to the story and it ultimately does pan out into the film, it was probably slightly longer than it should have been. (Alternatively, the ending ties in with this scene so it was important). This all leads me to my next point.
- As far as the fans were concerned, we were all under the impression that we would see more of the minor characters and the movie really didn't go in that direction. While we got the inclusion of Laura Dern's Captain Holdo and new-comer Kelly Marie Tran's Rose, Maz and Captain Phasma again got the short straw. Maz's appearance felt more like Disney saying "we still have this academy award winning actress" than actually giving her a role. Instead, she is a simple plot device that relays information about the whereabouts of the "codebreaker," makes a joke, and vanishes. While she is in the midst of some kind of conflict, that seems to be the think of it and then she is not seen again. Also, Captain Phasma who was shown in multiple trailers, has one battle scene of John Boyega's Finn, before she gets her helmet cracked and falls into the firey depths below and exploding hangar. While she might not be dead, it's kind of lame that she's been reduced to the commanding Storm Trooper who just pops in now and then, calls Finn a traitor, and vanishes. While she can totally return from the dead (for a second time) there is no indication that Gwendolyn Christie will reprise the role in the next Star Wars film so this is just another great character that Star Wars wasted.
- Speaking of controversial deaths, nothing was more shocking then (redacted, we will get to that at the end) General Snokes death. Again, why tease so heavily a character just to have him die? If anything, this is where it feels as if the difference between Johnson and Abrams directing style really comes in. From the Force Awakens, it really seemed that Snoke was going to be a very prominent villain in the franchise, only to be cut down in what was one of the better scenes of The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, we don't know a thing about him. Where he's from, why he is so horribly disfigured, and plenty of other questions. While we might find this information out in the final film, it also might not matter because, like previously stated, he was cut in half. Inversely, maybe they will surprise us and say it was a really good force projection. Skywalker managed to do this so maybe its plausible. His return could also be indicated by the fact that he connects Ren and Kylo through the force and they do it one more time towards the end of the film after Snokes death. Who knows though, who knows.
- Which brings me to the next point, the Jedi himself, Luke Skywalker. Filled with jokes and pessimism, Skywalker seems to be the focal point of most fans complaints and considering what the film pulled at the end, it's not all that shocking. Skywalker surrendering himself to the force and presumably gesturing towards a new generation of Jedi is meant to be poetic but it seems as if it was the last thing long time fans wanted to see. While I'm sure he will return in some capacity in the final film (to guide Rey or something) it looks like Hamill's run is finished and considering Harrison Ford is gone, and the tragic loss of the late Carrie Fisher, the original heroes have all left the franchise in one form or another. While a lot of people complained about the move, I found it reasonable, given their ages as the main factor. Regardless, Hamill's performance is fantastic and he is one of the best parts of the film (although, we all expected that to happen).
- While we're speaking about surprises, lets talk about the twist in the film the biggest being the force child at the end scene. In the casino scene, Rose shows a resistance ring to a young orphan boy who later shows it to the camera after force pulling a broom to him and posing with it like a light saber while staring off into the stars. The scene was nothing short of shocking but it fits the narrative of a jedi hero coming from nothing. It will be really interesting to see if the third movie will address this at all, or if that was just a fun nod to a generation yet to come.
- Also, during the scene in which Luke lies about his fated final night with Kylo Ren, he makes a startling omission, stating that Kylo took off with a handful of his students and slaughtered the rest. This is potentially the biggest revelation in the film. That means that there are other Jedi who have been trained by Luke and could still be alive and one thing that this trilogy is lacking, is Jedi. With any hope, we will get some answers about whether or not they are alive and out in the galaxy far, far away or if Kylo eventually slaughtered them too.
All in all, I had a pretty fun time but I can see some of the obvious issues with the story. Guess we will just have to sit tight and wait for Episode 9 to figure out everything and hopefully get some of these questions answered.
Out of respect for those who have yet to see the movie, I'm going to try and keep the spoilers a minimal as possible so lets talk about the latest Star Wars film. Far as the movie itself, I thought it was fantastic although, less action than audiences were lead to believe. It drags in the middle like all blockbusters but easily has one of the years best opening sequences and a handful of others that are just jaw droppingly gorgeous. Of the many great things Rian Johnson managed to do with the film, a one thing in particular really killed me and it was the lack of role of Captain Phasma. The heavily marketed storm trooper commander portrayed by Gwendoline Christie, again gets extremely limited screen time (SPOILERS) only to meet an untimely demise but if the first film is any indication than nothing is permanent. Rose is a great addition and you'll love her even before her first scene on the screen. General Hux actually gets fleshed out this time around and is slowly emerging as a character one would be interested in. The Last Jedi has a lot of twist and surprises and they weren't afraid to play with the audiences emotions, especially with the late Carrie Fisher. I'll get more into detail after the weekend but these are just some quick thoughts. It is easily one of the best films you can check out this holiday season and it is certainly a step up from The Force Awakens (which I didn't think was that bad but apparently people don't like so, meh what can you do?).
Disney and Lucasfilms is already looking ahead to map out the future of the Star Wars franchise and they announced some very exciting news today. Rian Johnson, director of Looper, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has been chose to helm a new trilogy for the galaxy far, far away. The focus will be to "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored" and will most likely arrive after episode 9. This also makes sense seeing as J.J. Abrams is returning to the franchise to direct the final film of the trilogy. While it will hard to say goodbye to Luke and company, Star Wars has a vast array of canonical stories and characters they can use for their future films. Honestly, this news is nothing short of exciting and absolutely the best direction for Star Wars to head.
Despite the divisive reaction from the announced reshoots, we're inching closer and closer to Decembers Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One, and a behind the scenes video shows a different tone from the previously released trailer, which may restore some hope for fans worried about the upcoming winter release. Take a look at some of the new characters, locations and troopers you'll see in the exclusive behind the scenes look of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Most of us joined the million of fans last December who ran frantically to see J.J. Abram's Star Wars: The Force Awakens but between that film and the next in the series will be the first spin off, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and a new rumor has it the movie did not test well. According to various sources (first reported by Dailymail) the movie did not impress internally at Disney, thus leading to the order of weeks of reshoots. Other rumors are conflicting the claim that the film was expecting reshoots throughout the summer to prepare for its December 16th release. There were also claims that the spin off movie needed to meet the quality of Abrams film. While Rogue One serves as a prequel to the entire Star Wars series, it's hard to imagine that it could generate the massive 2.6 billion box office gross The Force Awakens managed to pull by the end of it's run. There have also been lots of rumors swirling with director Gareth Edwards conflicting vision with the Disney team, which doesn't sound too far off from plausible. The director recently dropped out of Godzilla 2 to allegedly focus on smaller films. The cards were stacked against Rogue One from the start and due to it not being in canon with the main story line that's continuing with Star Wars episode 8, it's hard to believe that Rogue One will come close to the same level of box office blowout. Hopefully we won't have to worry about this film when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuts December 16th.
Unless you've been living in a galaxy far, far away, you know that today is Star Wars day. That day where fans, fanatics, wookies and studios come together to celebrate one of the biggest franchises in film history and this year has brought us some exciting news! Developer Respawn, the team that created Titanfall, announced that they have begun development on a new 3D Star Wars title with the former director of the God of War series, Stig Asmussen. A brand new line of lightsabers will be coming out that'll cost a cool $550. The replicas are said to be "dual worthy, accurate," and much closer to actual movie quality. They'll come with an array of customizable parts as well as for Star Wars fans looking to create the perfect saber! Wired has put up an amazing collection of must see videos for star wars fans as well today, perfectly capturing the mood for super fans or casual fans who want to know more about a break dancing stormtrooper or the lovable BB8. Also, in a big surprise for fans, the collaboration between JJ Abrams and Hamilton star and creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, title "Jabba Flow," was released onto itunes today. For those who don't know, the song was featured in the scene during Maz's cantina. May the 4th be with you and stay excited as we look toward more Star Wars games and Rogue One this December!
Between the canonical Star Wars trilogy lands the brand new Star War's anthology and this morning we were surprised with a teaser at the first one, Star Wars: Rogue One. The story takes places prior to the event of a new hope as a group of pilots try to stop the death star. The trailer is ominous and teases a lot of action. Take a look at Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen and more in the brand new teaser below!
After a lot of searching, it looks like Disney is quickly approaching their decision on who will be playing a young Han Solo. If you're confused at who you're looking at you might not be alone but allow me to give you a little bit of info on who's up for the coveted role. First is Alden Ehrenreich who stole the show in the latest Coen brother's film, Hail, Caesar as the western actor Hobbie Doyle. He also starred in a handful of indie flicks like the horror movie Stoker, Blue Jasmine and 2013's Beautiful Creatures which didn't manage to take off at the box offices as expected. In the center if Transformers: Age of Extinction's Jack Reynor. The relatively new actor is scheduled to return for the next Transformers film as well. The last, over to the right, is Taron Egerton, star of The Kingsmen as well as the 80s sports biopic Eddie The Eagle and is probably the most recognizable of the three. While Egerton is probably the most in demand actor, Ehrenreich's performance was nothing short of spectacular in Hail, Caesar and is certainly not one to be looked over. While we're all aware that the Star Wars projects are about as air tight when it comes to secrets as the Marvel franchise films, we shouldn't rule out some of the names we've heard in circulation but this is the current rumor as of right now.
Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter